You’re not a child anymore
Remember how it felt like as a kid when something bad happened to you? If you skinned your knees and came running to your parents crying you immediately were the center of attention. Everything was done to comfort and console you in order to make the pain go away. Whatever was your problem was automatically also the problem of everyone around you.
That’s how it should be with kids. But as you get older that needs to change. There is a point of your life where you need to take ownership.
Taking ownership of your problems
Unfortunately, many of us miss that point nowadays. Many never step up and own what they do and, more importantly, what happens to them. May it be school, college, relationships or career – many see themselves as the victim whenever something doesn’t go the way they planned.
And then they complain to friends, colleagues, or their family, as if it was their duty to care. It is not. Nobody owes you anything.
That might sound harsh, but understand this: complaining has never ever solved any problem. It only drains your and other people’s energy. What solves problems is owning them and taking action. Once you accept problems as yours and nobody else’s, you can stop looking to others for solutions.
Taking ownership of other people’s problems
This isn’t always easy. Sometimes the problems were clearly created by someone else and now they are affecting your life. Someone else messed up and now you should make it your duty to fix it? How unfair!
No one is happy when things go wrong. But when push comes to shove, will you be someone who talks and complains or someone who takes action? And if someone has to do it, wouldn’t you rather be in charge yourself, knowing that you are now in control of the outcome?
This video of Jocko Willink gives a good example of showing extreme ownership, whether it is your problem or not:
Benefits of true ownership
Owning what is happening around you has massive advantages. Not only are you feeling more in control and not at the mercy of others anymore. You also build authority and leadership skills. And you become the go-to person whenever something needs to get fixed, which will give you unique opportunities to grow further and develop your skills. On top of that, you lose the fear “getting framed” or “being held responsible”. Instead, you assume that you are responsible from the start, thus getting you more invested and more focussed on getting the desired results instead of looking good in front of others.
So take ownership. Of your mistakes, of other people’s mistakes, of everything that is going wrong. Stop passing the buck. What you own, you can control. So start taking control of your life and everything in it.